Heavy Holds on Two Debut Novels

Among next week’s releases are two much-buzzed-about debuts. Library demand is highest for The Postmistress by Sarah Blake, with holds of  6:1 or higher on modest orders.

The tale of an American radio reporter in WWII London, the novel is winning comparisons to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society from booksellers, one of whom touted The Postmistress in PW‘s Galley Talk column, and also in a USA Today story on breakthrough winter titles. The book also carries a blurb from Kathryn Stockett, author of the runaway bestseller, The Help.

Entertainment Weekly gives it an A- in the new issue, saying “There’s both exquisite pain and pleasure to be found in these pages, which jump from the mass devastation in Europe to the intimate heartaches of an American small town.”

The Postmistress
Sarah Blake
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam – (2010-02-09)
ISBN / EAN: 0399156194 / 9780399156199

Available from Blackstone Audiobooks

  • CD: $100; ISBN 9781441725714
  • MP3 CD: $29.95; ISBN 9781441725745
  • Cassette: $65.95; ISBN 9781441725707

Audio and e-book available from OverDrive


Union Atlantic, the first novel by Adam Hazlett, author of the bestselling story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here, is also attracting 2:1 hold ratios in libraries we checked. The novel explores the gilded age of the last decade, centering on a land dispute between a young banker and a retired schoolteacher, and was chosen as a #1 Indie Next Pick for February.

New York magazine profiles Hazlett this week, as did PWearlier, both noting that the book, which Hazlett began writing ten years ago, foretells the recent financial crisis and even the bailout. He tells New York that when he began writing it, he feared readers might not know, or even care, what the Fed is.

Libraries have ordered it in similar quantities to The Postmistress, with one-fifth the number of holds.

Union Atlantic
Adam Haslett
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Nan A. Talese – (2010-02-09)
ISBN / EAN: 0385524471 / 9780385524476

Other Major Titles On Sale Next Week

Adriana Trigiani‘s Brava Valentine (HarperCollins), the second in her Valentine trilogy about a loving but fiery Italian American family, is showing reserves of 6:1 at one library we checked, making it the most-anticipated fiction title of the week.

Alex Berenson‘s The Midnight House(Penguin), the fourth in a series featuring superspy John Wells,  is also much in demand, though not available at all libraries we checked.

Peter Straub‘s A Dark Matter (Knopf Doubleday) “ranks as one of the finest tales of modern horror,” according to PW.

Chuck Hogan‘s Devils in Exile(Simon & Schuster) is “a compelling portrait of a good man who makes bad choices and in the end must battle his way out of a destructive and deadly life,” PW said.

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